The page of Rúfus, Milan, English biography
Biography(10. 12. 1928, Závažná Poruba)
Poet, essayist, translator and author of books for children Milan Rúfus is one of the most prominent personalities of Slovak literature of the second half of 20th century. He was born in Závažná Poruba to a Protestant family. He graduated from high school in Liptovský Mikuláš. Rúfus studied Slovak language and history in Bratislava (1948-1952). From 1952 till the ´80´s he taught at the Philosophical Faculty of Comenius University (Bratislava) as associate professor of Slovak literature. He also taught Czech and Slovak literature in Naples, Italy from 1971 till 1972.
Although Rúfus‘ debut came out in 1956 (collection of poems entitled Až dozrieme), he was known as a poet since 1944, when he began to publish poetry in periodicals. His first published book appeared symbolically in the first year of Czechoslovak de-Stalinisation. In 1966 he published his second volume of poetry, Chlapec, featuring poems that were censored in the fifties. A complete edition of Rúfus´ early poems appeared just in 1974 under the title Chlapec maľuje dúhu. His second successful book of poetry was entitled Zvony (1968); the following year his poem Ľudia v horách appeared as an accompanying text to the photographs of Martin Martinček (1913). He again cooperated with M. Martinček when he published a collection of poems Kolíska (1972). Several poems from this collection appeared in his next book of poetry entitled Stôl chudobných (1972) as well. In these poems we can discern both religious themes as well as archetypal symbols.
In 1975 Rúfus published a book for children entitled Kniha rozprávok, in which he partially re-interpreted Pavol Dobšinský´s (1828-1885) fairy tales. Inspiration by Dobšinský is apparent also in the cycle Sobotné večery (1977). The subsequent collection of poetry, Hudba tvarov (1977), was influenced by the paintings of Slovak Modernist artist Ludovít Fulla, who was inspired by folk art. In the 1980´s Rúfus published several anthologies of his poetry. A new voice was identified by the literary critique in his collection Prísny chlieb (1987): Rúfus wrote about the problems of a modern man confronted with the world of technology. His Christian orientation was more prominent in the following books of poetry: Čítanie z údelu (1996) and Žalmy o nevinnej (1997).
In the nineties Rúfus published several collections of little prayers (Modlitbičky 1992; Nové modlitbičky, 1994), dedicated to his handicapped daughter. Apart from his poems he wrote numerous fairy tales for children as well as essays on literature and prominent literary personalities. Milan Rúfus translates from Russian.